If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, your first court appearance will likely be your arraignment. This is a crucial step in the legal process and can be overwhelming if you don't know what to expect. Here are six things to expect at your arraignment:
1. Formal Charges Will Be Read
The purpose of the arraignment is to formally charge you with a crime. The judge will read the charges against you, and you will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
It is important to remember that the arraignment is not a trial. You will not be presenting evidence or arguing your case at this stage. Instead, you are simply acknowledging the charges against you and entering a plea.
2. The Judge Will Determine Bail
At your arraignment, the judge will also determine whether or not you should be released on bail while your case is pending. Bail is a sum of money that you pay as a guarantee that you will appear in court for all future hearings.
The judge will consider several factors when determining your bail amount, including the severity of the charges, your criminal history, and your ties to the community. If the judge sets a high bail amount that you cannot afford, you may need to consider hiring a bail bondsman.
3. Your Attorney Will Be Present
You have the right to an attorney at your arraignment, and it is highly recommended that you have legal representation. Your attorney will be present to advise you on your plea and help you make decisions about your case.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be appointed a public defender. While public defenders have a lot of experience and can provide quality representation, they often have large caseloads and may not have as much time to devote to your case as a private attorney.
4. Your Rights Will Be Explained
At your arraignment, the judge will also explain your rights. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, and the right to a fair trial.
It is important to understand your rights and exercise them appropriately. For example, if you choose to speak to law enforcement, anything you say can be used against you in court. You also have the right to refuse to answer any questions without an attorney present.
5. You Will Receive a Next Court Date
After your arraignment, you will be given a next court date. This will typically be a pre-trial hearing, where your attorney will have the opportunity to review the evidence against you and negotiate with the prosecutor.
It is important to attend all scheduled court dates. If you fail to appear, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and you could face additional charges.
6. Your Options Will Be Explained
Finally, at your arraignment, your options will be explained to you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have several options available to you, including pleading guilty, negotiating a plea deal, or going to trial.
Your attorney will be able to advise you on which option is best for you based on the specifics of your case. It is important to carefully consider all of your options and make an informed decision.
Your arraignment is a critical step in the legal process, and it is important to be prepared. By understanding what to expect, you can approach your arraignment with confidence and make informed decisions about your case.
Remember to hire an attorney, understand your rights, attend all scheduled court dates, and carefully consider your options. With the right approach, you can navigate the legal system and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
If you find yourself arrested and accused of a crime, contact us at A Easy Way Out Bail Bonds. We are a locally owned bail bonds company in Las Vegas & Henderson with over 15 years experience & a passionate goal to help people in need of quick bail with 24-hour bail bond services.